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Classics Mutilated

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All-new versions of your favorite tales Classics Mutilated is IDW’s response to the so-called “Monster Lit” trend in mainstream publishing, which takes a beloved literary classic and adds monsters to it. We call our version “Ctrl-Alt-Lit,” which incorporates mash-up techniques in the creation of fresh and unique genre-blending fiction. By using the short story format and a All-new versions of your favorite tales Classics Mutilated is IDW’s response to the so-called “Monster Lit” trend in mainstream publishing, which takes a beloved literary classic and adds monsters to it. We call our version “Ctrl-Alt-Lit,” which incorporates mash-up techniques in the creation of fresh and unique genre-blending fiction. By using the short story format and a selection of diverse authors, Classics Mutilated not only rescues Monster Lit from its own built-in one-joke obsolescence (where the book’s title tells the entire story), but also re-energizes the field, creating its own genre.? It’s not parody or satire, but way bent fiction done totally straight by some of the brightest talents on the scene, such as Joe R. Lansdale, John Shirley, Nancy Collins, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Thomas Tessier, Marc Laidlaw, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, Chris Ryall, and Rio Youers.? Notable characters include Snow White, Huck Finn, Captain Ahab, Sid Vicious, Billy the Kid, Emily Dickinson, Jim Morrison, Edgar Allan Poe, Loki, Albert Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Some of the featured authors and literary works found in these mash-ups are Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Legends of Asgard, H.G. Wells, Frankenstein, and more. All transformed in ways the mainstream could never imagine, or get away with.? ? Classics Mutilated is available in both print and digital formats. Every story appears here for the first time; each one written specifically for this collection. “Dread Island,” a masterful new novella by Lansdale, anchors the collection.


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All-new versions of your favorite tales Classics Mutilated is IDW’s response to the so-called “Monster Lit” trend in mainstream publishing, which takes a beloved literary classic and adds monsters to it. We call our version “Ctrl-Alt-Lit,” which incorporates mash-up techniques in the creation of fresh and unique genre-blending fiction. By using the short story format and a All-new versions of your favorite tales Classics Mutilated is IDW’s response to the so-called “Monster Lit” trend in mainstream publishing, which takes a beloved literary classic and adds monsters to it. We call our version “Ctrl-Alt-Lit,” which incorporates mash-up techniques in the creation of fresh and unique genre-blending fiction. By using the short story format and a selection of diverse authors, Classics Mutilated not only rescues Monster Lit from its own built-in one-joke obsolescence (where the book’s title tells the entire story), but also re-energizes the field, creating its own genre.? It’s not parody or satire, but way bent fiction done totally straight by some of the brightest talents on the scene, such as Joe R. Lansdale, John Shirley, Nancy Collins, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Thomas Tessier, Marc Laidlaw, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, Chris Ryall, and Rio Youers.? Notable characters include Snow White, Huck Finn, Captain Ahab, Sid Vicious, Billy the Kid, Emily Dickinson, Jim Morrison, Edgar Allan Poe, Loki, Albert Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Some of the featured authors and literary works found in these mash-ups are Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Legends of Asgard, H.G. Wells, Frankenstein, and more. All transformed in ways the mainstream could never imagine, or get away with.? ? Classics Mutilated is available in both print and digital formats. Every story appears here for the first time; each one written specifically for this collection. “Dread Island,” a masterful new novella by Lansdale, anchors the collection.

30 review for Classics Mutilated

  1. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    MASH-UP MORTAL KOMBAT! Take a collection of mash-up stories featuring various classics, mutilated and then sewn back together. Now pit those stories against each other: a mash-up of mash-ups. FIGHT! ☠☠☠ First up is the sepulchral Emily Dickinson versus the infernal Joe McCarthy. Kristine Rusch’s “Death Stopped for Miss Dickinson” tells a melancholy tale of Emily’s ill-fated romance with the Grim Reaper; Thomas Tessier’s “The Green Menace” finds the evil senator engaged in the good fight against MASH-UP MORTAL KOMBAT! Take a collection of mash-up stories featuring various classics, mutilated and then sewn back together. Now pit those stories against each other: a mash-up of mash-ups. FIGHT! ☠☠☠ First up is the sepulchral Emily Dickinson versus the infernal Joe McCarthy. Kristine Rusch’s “Death Stopped for Miss Dickinson” tells a melancholy tale of Emily’s ill-fated romance with the Grim Reaper; Thomas Tessier’s “The Green Menace” finds the evil senator engaged in the good fight against a horde of rampant mutant frogs. Rusch’s wistful story has a lot of potential but it gets fatally muddied by an increasingly overbearing insistence that Dickinson destroyed her life due to an obsession with oblivion. The whole affair is somehow both vague and strident. Tessier’s story recognizes but unfortunately underplays McCarthy’s toxic nature. Fortunately he lives in a well-written, fun, pleasingly old-fashioned and surprisingly evocative adventure. WINNER: Joseph McCarthy in the The Green Menace. ☠☠☠ Next up is a clockwork Anne of Green Gables versus an undead but still canny Billy the Kid. Lezli Robyn’s “Anne-droid of Green Gables” reimagines the plucky waif in a steampunk pastoral, yearning for the love of humans; John Shirley’s “Frankenbilly” has the Dr. Frankenstein-resurrected gunfighter visiting the set of the b-film Billy the Kid vs. Dracula. Robyn’s story is sweet and likeable but suffers from an excess of sugariness. It really got to be too much. On the other hand, Shirley (an author I have disliked) injects a certain mean-spiritedness into his spikey and imaginative tale. I’m a reader who prefers the sour to sweet. WINNER: Billy the Kid in the pungent Frankenbilly. ☠☠☠ Next we have the tragic life of Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man placed within the equally dangerous world of Pokemon monsters run rampant... versus The Island of Dr. Moreau visited and exploited by a shifty and egomaniacal Walt Disney. Marc Laidlaw’s “Pokky Man” is exceedingly clever and has a nicely challenging style consisting of testimonials about the eventually fatal attempt of a Pokeman advocate to enter the Poke-world as an equal to those unknowable cartoon creatures. Skipp & Goodfellow’s “The Happiest Hell on Earth” has a bracingly bitter quality to it and is also quite well-written. It goes in a surprising direction, with the second half of the story all about Disney’s exploitation of Moreau’s man-animal hybrids within his film empire. I enjoyed both, but I’m going to go with the excitingly weird “Pokky Man” over “Happiest Hell,” if only because of the latter’s rather saccharine ending – although that ending is easy to overlook, seeing as the story is narrated by Dumbo. Dumbo should always get a happy ending. Nevertheless... WINNER: the Pokémon of Pokky Man. ☠☠☠ Next is a battle between rock stars: Jim Morrison of The Doors versus Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols! Rio Youers’ “Quoth the Rock Star” has an evil Edgar Allan Poe attempting to suck the soul out of Morrison’s body so that he can replace it with his own. Mark Morris’ “Vicious” has an already soul-deadened Sid Vicious finding himself involved in some bad Louisiana voodoo. Youers’ sinister and hypnotic story really gets the poetry in Morrison’s nature – his story has some wonderful moments describing the Lizard King’s outlook on his performances and on himself. It starts strong and gets even better, ending with a really cool battle between lizard and raven. Morris’ “Vicious” is also pretty strong. Morris is a talented writer and I appreciated his clear-eyed empathy for Sid Vicious. He also knows how to create an interestingly repugnant atmosphere when describing Vicious’ entrapment by a creepy duo of women. Still, I would say Morris’ story is the weaker of the two because of a rather jarring lack of purpose. I don’t need resolution but I do need to know why I am reading something. This was a close call, but WINNER: Jim Morrison in Quoth the Rock Star. ☠☠☠ And next up is the entire cast of Little Women versus that Norse bringer of Ragnarok, the trickster Loki . Rick Hautala’s “Little Women in Black” takes Alcott’s classic and puts it through a gothic funhouse; Chris Ryall’s “Twilight of the Gods” places Loki in the teen world of Twilight as he is torn between Team Frost Giantess and Team Valkyrie. Alcott & Hautala’s story is strange and eerie, full of creepy bits of horror that come sliding into the story in unexpected ways. The writing is rather fantastic at times and I can say I often had very little idea of what was coming next. Unfortunately there is a randomness to it all that ended up being confusing and, by the end, irritating. It was as if the authors tried to throw everything they could think of at the story without really looking at the story as a whole. Conversely, Ryall’s tale is all of a piece. This is an awesome story! I would never guess that the drippy, bland world of Bella & Edward & Wolfie could be turned into a clever and fun quasi-90210 tale of romance run awry, with impudent, arrogant Loki torn between a hot-blooded sword maiden and a giantess on the down-low about her cold-blooded nature. The very clear WINNER: Loki in Twilight of the Gods! ☠☠☠ Finally we have Snow White & Alice from Wonderland tag-teaming Moby Dick’s infamous Captain Ahab. Sean Taylor’s “The Fairest of Them All” is all sturm und drang: dueling witches, a soldierly White Rabbit, lascivious dwarves, monsters fighting armies, worlds destroyed, an evil Alice (and a tedious Snow White, ugh), and even a little Cthulhu mythos thrown in. Nancy Collins’ “From Hell’s Heart” has Captain Ahab, demon-hunter, fighting the Wendigo in the frozen north. I’m sad to admit that I may have stacked the deck because this was not a fair fight. Simply put, Taylor is long on ideas but short on talent; his attempt to put a dark spin on two classics comes across as overly busy, eye-rollingly juvenile, and just rather amateurish. But Collins’ story is the real deal. Elegant prose, wonderfully conveyed atmosphere, absorbing mysteries, and a suitably horrific monster made the whole endeavor a complete pleasure from beginning to end. Her immortal Captain Ahab is a marvelous creation and deserves his own full-length novel. WINNER BY KNOCKOUT: Capt. Ahab From Hell’s Heart. ☠☠☠ There is a final story, out of competition: Joe Lansdale’s novella-length Dread Island. It is the best story in the collection. ☠☠☠ Winners (in descending order) Dread Island From Hell’s Heart Twilight of the Gods Quoth the Rock Star Pokky Man The Green Menace Frankenbilly

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fierce

    One of many recent books that are part of a new style of genre fiction called, CTRL-ALT-LIT, which is basically, genre-mashup fiction. An incredibly cool, put-together anthology with new spins on classic stories and characters you should well know. From Alice In Wonderland, to Snow White, to Huckleberry Finn vs. Cthulhu, to Captain Ahab vs. the Wendigo, to Billy the Kid vs. Frankenstein, you meet up with a lot of familiar faces in memorable locations on some very strange and different adventures One of many recent books that are part of a new style of genre fiction called, CTRL-ALT-LIT, which is basically, genre-mashup fiction. An incredibly cool, put-together anthology with new spins on classic stories and characters you should well know. From Alice In Wonderland, to Snow White, to Huckleberry Finn vs. Cthulhu, to Captain Ahab vs. the Wendigo, to Billy the Kid vs. Frankenstein, you meet up with a lot of familiar faces in memorable locations on some very strange and different adventures. A couple of my favorites were by authors I've already been a fan of for decades: Joe R. Lansdale and his "Dread Island", a Huck Finn adventure-horror that combines Mark Twain's world with H.P. Lovecraft's, and is brilliant to say the least, and Nancy Collins "From Hell's Heart", in which Captain Ahab, alive years after his Moby Dick encounter, comes on shore to target the Tuunbaq-like Wendigo, which is my personal favorite amongst the 13 in this tome. A couple of authors I didn't know, particulary, Sean Taylor, and his "Fairest Of Them All" where Alice in Wonderland and Snow White face the wicked Queen with a guest appearance by some of H.P. Lovecraft's "friends", is also memorable and a lot of fun. All in all, a really great read though it shouldn't come as any surprise that you will probably have particular favorites over others. You may even dislike a few, as can be expected with an anthology of this sort, knowing that you must suspend a great deal of disbelief to enjoy the stories contained within. Highly recommended!! *And what a wonderful cover by Menton3!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    Taking its cue from "Monster Lit", those faddish take-offs like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Classics Mutilated is a collection of 13 stories that combine different genres, literary classics, and fictional or historical characters. Yet these tales, dubbed"'CTRL-ALT-LIT" by editor Jeff Connor owes most of its zing to the computer age, noticeably the technique of the 'Mash-up"; the mixing together of two or more songs or videos into a new whole. The various authors in this collection are given Taking its cue from "Monster Lit", those faddish take-offs like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Classics Mutilated is a collection of 13 stories that combine different genres, literary classics, and fictional or historical characters. Yet these tales, dubbed"'CTRL-ALT-LIT" by editor Jeff Connor owes most of its zing to the computer age, noticeably the technique of the 'Mash-up"; the mixing together of two or more songs or videos into a new whole. The various authors in this collection are given free rein to mix and mash various ideas and stories creating a eccentric assortment of strange fiction. The result tends to be a bit uneven. The best are brilliant and the least are little more than novelties. Yet when it is good... Here's a run-down of my favorites. "Dread Island" by Joe R. Lansdale: Even though it is the last story, I read it first due to both my love for all things Lansdale and its already legendary reputation. The tale is a whopper. Mixing Huckleberry Finn, Lovecraft, and Uncle Remus, Lansdale does a marvelous job channeling Mark Twain through a labyrinth of Brer people and "Cut Through You". Easily the best of the lot. Five stars. "The Fairest of Them All" by Sean Taylor: Answers the age old question; who would win in a grudge fight between Alice and Snow White? Evokes both Tanith Lee and Angela Carter in its psychological manhandling of the classic fairly tales even if Alice is more Tim Burton than Lewis Carroll. Four stars. "Anne-droid of Green Gable" by Lezli Robyn: Cute but old-fashioned. If it wasn't for the classic lit twist and the Steampunk, this tale would fit comfortably into Isaac Asimov's robot series. A bit sweet for my taste but quite clever. Three stars "Death Stopped For Miss Dickinson" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Second best in the collection. A darkly beautiful story featuring the poet Emily Dickinson. There's more than a taste of Charlotte Bronte in this evocative work. Five stars "Pokky Man" by Marc Laidow: A weird little send-up of Werner Herzog and Pokemon. Your enjoyment of this story will probably be parallel to your knowledge of the excellent documentary, "Grizzly Man" by Herzog. Personally I was LMAO. Four stars. 'From Hell's Heart" by Nancy Collins: I haven't read Collins for ages. This great piece of fiction tells me I need to check her out again. The author brings back Captain Ahab from Moby Dick in a story that pits the literary style of Herman Melville against Algernon Blackwood. This is the most chilling of the tales. No pun intended. Five stars. "The Green Menace" by Thomas Tessier. Joseph McCarthy vs. frogs. Yes, i said "frogs". Short, a bit of a one punch-line story but fun. Three stars. "Quoth the Rock Star" by Rio Youers: Jim Morrison meets Edgar Allen Poe, more or less. Good tense style evoking both Poe's dread and Morrison's rock and Roll angst. Four stars. The rest go from near miss to "by a mile". However all of them are entertaining in one way or another. This is a nifty anthology with a nice gimmick and good authors who can pull it off. Don't miss the awesome illustrations by Mike Dubish and the striking cover art by Menton3.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This is an excellent collection of a form of twisted pastiches -- things that take literary excerpts and retell the stories in new ways, with elements added of the supernatural, horror, or suspense. Crafted poorly, such stories can be painful and amateurish -- done well, they are compelling and bring new appreciation to the original work. Classics Mutilated is overwhelmingly well done. The anchor story is form Joe Lansdale, taking Huck Finn down a much darker river, one which intersects with Uncl This is an excellent collection of a form of twisted pastiches -- things that take literary excerpts and retell the stories in new ways, with elements added of the supernatural, horror, or suspense. Crafted poorly, such stories can be painful and amateurish -- done well, they are compelling and bring new appreciation to the original work. Classics Mutilated is overwhelmingly well done. The anchor story is form Joe Lansdale, taking Huck Finn down a much darker river, one which intersects with Uncle Remus -- and much worse. Joe's always consistently brilliant, and this is no exception. There are many highlights in this books -- Anne-droid of Green Gables, which is a heartwarming spin on the story of an outsider to a new space; Twilight of the Gods -- recasting Twilight with Loki as Bella, fighting over two women whoa re attracted to him -- a hilarious pastiche that clearly surpasses the source material it mocks (not that the bar was set very high); and death stopped for Miss Dickinson, a short story that will give you new appreciation for Emily Dickinson's poems and is haunting. A clever retelling of Little Women gets particular praise, for it manages to use what appears to be 80-90% of the original text, but with only subtle variations it turns the story dark, foreboding, and full of pathos. The first story in the volume that pits Snow White alongside a dark Alice in Wonderland takes mythologies that certainly have been done before but in a way that is fresh and sharp. My appreciation for the two stories that highlight rock stars was much lessened, and while I thought the dark spin on Pokemon story was actually quite well crafted, my lack of knowledge of the genre probably caused em to appreciate it much less.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim Cherry

    “Classsics Mutilated” is an anthology of 13 short stories that takes some literary classics and mashes them up with a twist of horror, that crosses genres, characters and the lines between them. Mutilated is kind of a misnomer for these stories, there’s nothing mutilated or even stitched together about these stories. They’re more a fusion of genres that enhances the originals. Like alternate histories in writing a good mashup you have to have a good command of the material, balanced with a respec “Classsics Mutilated” is an anthology of 13 short stories that takes some literary classics and mashes them up with a twist of horror, that crosses genres, characters and the lines between them. Mutilated is kind of a misnomer for these stories, there’s nothing mutilated or even stitched together about these stories. They’re more a fusion of genres that enhances the originals. Like alternate histories in writing a good mashup you have to have a good command of the material, balanced with a respect for the original while maintaining a sense of the irreverent about it. Hopefully, the new story, besides being entertaining will also provide a better understanding or insight into the original, and these are well written stories. Some of the standout stories for me were: “Death Stopped for Miss Dickinson,” which takes the literary assessment of Emily Dickinson courting death in her poetry from the figurative into the literal. Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes a story that takes the fine lacey poetics of Dickinson and creates a story worthy of Dickinson. “Quoth The Rock Star” has Jim Morrison entering the world of Edgar Allan Poe and “The Raven” as they battle it out for possession of a soul. The author of “Quoth,” Rio Youers, writes one of the best descriptions of a Doors concert I’ve ever read. Youers interlaces Morrison’s lyrics into the prose to create effect, tone and even real power in using Morrison’s motif’s and imagery in the telling of the story and will give Doors fans a rush of recognition. In “From Hell’s Heart” Nancy Collins has Captain Ahab from Moby Dick fused with H.P. Lovecraft. I was never a big fan of Lovecraft when he was big in the mid-70’s because he always backed away from describing the horror, but Nancy Collins takes that extra step and describes Lovecraft’s indescribable. “Frankenbilly,” is a western homage to the B-movie. It meshes “Frankenstein” with the 60‘s classic “Billy the Kid Versus Dracula.” While successfully serving the flavor of a western and a B-movie, without degenerating into B writing. For rock fans that want to continue in vein of “Quoth The Rock Star,” Mark Morris’ “Vicious” has Sid Vicious on tour in the U.S. meeting up with a Voodoo priestess or two, and definitely maintains Vicious’ attitude and outlook towards life. “Twilight of the Gods” has Norse mythology going to high school and meeting the 90210 world. An apt tongue in cheek look at The Gods. The H.G. Wells story “The Island of Dr. Moreau“ never seemed to work in concept either in Wells‘ work or in the movies. But in “The Happiest Hell on Earth,” John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow have Moreau working much better when he meets up with a Walt Disneyesque Hollywood impresario. In “Classics Mutilated” there is a quotient of fun in the stories, a joie de vive in the writing, that you can even see in titles like “Anne-Droid of Green Gables.” “Classics Mutilated” is a good for anyone who likes literature and/or horror and is looking for a little different perspective on either. A reading of “Classics Mutilated” will bring back fond memories and may even send you back to the originals.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    There were one or two stories that I had to struggle to get trough, but overall an excellent collection. There were so many well written and very interesting twists on the classics in here that I couldn't put the book down. I will give my thoughts on a couple of them. Fairest of Them All by Sean Taylor- This story was very well written, and I loved the fact that he combined all of the classic females into one story and even made them "sisters". Outstanding story. Twilight of the Gods by Chris Ryal There were one or two stories that I had to struggle to get trough, but overall an excellent collection. There were so many well written and very interesting twists on the classics in here that I couldn't put the book down. I will give my thoughts on a couple of them. Fairest of Them All by Sean Taylor- This story was very well written, and I loved the fact that he combined all of the classic females into one story and even made them "sisters". Outstanding story. Twilight of the Gods by Chris Ryall- I very thouroughly enjoyed this one. Being a big fan of the stories of the "old gods", this is probably the first time I ever rooted for Loki. The story had a very nice flow to it, as content packed as it was. Vicious by Mark Morris- I love rock star horror, and this story hit the mark. What happens when one of one of the worlds biggest punk icons has a run in with a voodoo witch? This story was so good, it actually made me go "so, that's what happened to him...", just for a second. Dread Island by Joe R. Lansdale- Every now and again a short story comes along that blows you away, makes you wish there was an entire novel based on it, better yet, an entire series of novels. This is that story. Mr. Lansdale has created one of the most original worlds ever in this story. Using Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, he drags the reader into the story deeper and deeper by adding more and more to the story by way of compelling characters. If you ever wondered what would happen if Huck were to go to work for the X-Files, this story is it. There were many many more great stories in this book, but these were my favorites, the ones that stood out in my mind long after reading this book. Oh, and Mr. Lansdale.... book series based on Dread Island... seriously... do it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dwayne

    I bought this book for the Mythos aspects of some of the stories. Overall a great read, but it did have a few stories that were hit and miss. They offer this book now in 4 mini-books. Huck Finn, Captain Ahab and the Snow white stories were my favorite.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    This is an interesting collection of short horror stories. I enjoyed most of them, my favorite in the bunch is From Hell's Heart, though The Fairest of Them All is a close second. I could see those two working as full sized novels.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kimmyh

    Great mix of stories, featuring Mash-Ups of not only books, but some movies as well. Awesome Illustrations as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Barbee

    Favorites: Anne-Droid of Green Gables, From The Heart of Hell, Frankenbilly, The Happiest Hell on Earth, and of course Dream Island

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jien

    I would definitely recommend not reading this. It is fanfiction, and much as poorly written as what can be often found online. Many of the stories sound forced, mashing characters together with graphene-thin plotlines instead of thoughtfully juxtaposing interesting ideas. I guess it's my fault for ignoring the title, these stories are indeed mutilated. The Fairest of Them All - While I appreciated some depth and detail to the Snow White story, I really think Alice in Wonderland (& Alice Through t I would definitely recommend not reading this. It is fanfiction, and much as poorly written as what can be often found online. Many of the stories sound forced, mashing characters together with graphene-thin plotlines instead of thoughtfully juxtaposing interesting ideas. I guess it's my fault for ignoring the title, these stories are indeed mutilated. The Fairest of Them All - While I appreciated some depth and detail to the Snow White story, I really think Alice in Wonderland (& Alice Through the Looking Glass) has enough as it is. While Snow White was greatly improved in this version, Alice lost everything. 3 stars. Little Women in Black - There was some potential here, and it kept my attention until the end, but it was very disappointing. There were so many things brought up that were just dropped abruptly by the conclusion. Why was Beth partially noticeable? Was this supernatural or paranormal or both? What was the up with the father? And Hannah? And Laurie? And Laurie's grandfather? And Jo (for that matter)? 2 stars. Death Stopped for Dickinson - The story was fine, but I can't see the need for Emily Dickinson to be the protagonist. It could have been based on a fictional character and held the same weight. 2 stars. Anne-droid of Green Gables - I've never read the original. I found this version to be utterly uninteresting. 1 star. The Green Menace - McCarthy seemed totally unnecessary and irrelevant to this story and the climax was rather anticlimactic. 2 stars. Benediction - No idea what the reference is, but the story was fine. 4 stars. El and Al vs Himmler's Horrendous Horde From Hell - Totally unreadable. Einstein as a sorcerer, praying to math? No. 0 stars. Quoth the Rock Star - This story seemed like the answer to a question that no one asked because no one cared. 1 star. Pokky Man - No. Just no. Parody of Werner Herzog, Grizzly Man, and Pokemon? No. 0 stars. Twilight of the Gods - Loki in high school? This is exactly the reason I don't like YA. 1 star. Frankenbilly - The story was okay, but the premise was, like the title of this anthology says, mutilated. 2 stars. From Hell's Heart - Yet again, the literary reference felt forced. This could have been a great reimagining of Blackwood's Wendigo, but instead Moby Dick was crowbarred in, even going so far as to name the wendigo that Ahab was hunting "Dick." 3 stars. Vicious - This one almost worked. 3 stars. The Happiest Hell on Earth - Halfway decent as a satire on Disney, but the first third is rough, boring, and unneeded. 3 stars. Dread Island - This kind of works, though there are a whole lot of things going on and I don't think the author did justice to the originals. 3 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    A collection on monster mash-up stories, that takes it lead from books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I was expecting these stories to be fun and not much more. l was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer quality of what was offer with the standard being consistently high.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa G

    As with many anthologies, there are winners and losers in this collection. The idea of reimagining classic stories is not new - read Tanith Lee’s Red As Blood for an ‘80s attempt. This is an okay attempt.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Interesting concept for an anthology. My favorite stories covered Emily Dickenson, Captain Ahab, Doctor Moreau, Frankenstine, Huck Finn... quite the assortment of characters! One of my favorite creative minds - John Shirley (of Blue Oyster Cult fame) really surprised me here.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Duncan

    This is an anthology of mash-up fiction: where two works of literature meet, or a historical figure meets a mythological one, or ... it's a great concept, rife with ideas even with the restrictions of the public domain. Unfortunately, it also gets three stars from me solely for three stories, each of which were excellent: Anne-Droid of Green Gables (Lezli Robyn), Death Stopped For Miss Dickinson (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) and Twilight of the Gods (Chris Ryall). The rest of the stories, for me, ran This is an anthology of mash-up fiction: where two works of literature meet, or a historical figure meets a mythological one, or ... it's a great concept, rife with ideas even with the restrictions of the public domain. Unfortunately, it also gets three stars from me solely for three stories, each of which were excellent: Anne-Droid of Green Gables (Lezli Robyn), Death Stopped For Miss Dickinson (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) and Twilight of the Gods (Chris Ryall). The rest of the stories, for me, ranged from mildly amusing to forgettable to poorly executed. Many of the stories seem to be simply bizarre for the sake of it. Maybe that was because they were drawing on aspects of their respective classics that I'm not familiar with, but I think that even in an anthology of mash-up, the heart of the story shouldn't depend on this familiarity. For instance, Twilight of the Gods invokes a specific modern tale, but even if you missed that reference, it is still rollicking good fun. I also thought it was odd that an anthology with such broad possibilities would have two stories involving a drug-addled rock star battling dark magic. Neither of them, to me, were so compelling that both had to be included.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I think my hopes were a little too high going into this one. I expected crazy hilarity to abound, but it didn't really hit the mark for me. I love the ideas and interesting mash-ups, but the writing quality is generally poor, and I couldn't get past that. (Really the moment it completely lost me was in "Anne-droid of Green Gables" when the author wrote that Marilla and Matthew were married. No, they weren't. They were brother and sister. Be more respectful of your original sources, please. That' I think my hopes were a little too high going into this one. I expected crazy hilarity to abound, but it didn't really hit the mark for me. I love the ideas and interesting mash-ups, but the writing quality is generally poor, and I couldn't get past that. (Really the moment it completely lost me was in "Anne-droid of Green Gables" when the author wrote that Marilla and Matthew were married. No, they weren't. They were brother and sister. Be more respectful of your original sources, please. That's just sloppy.) I ended up skimming some of the stories, and there were a couple I didn't even bother finishing. I'm ashamed to say, too, that my favorite story in the bunch is "Pokky Man," a mash-up of Grizzly Man and Pokemon. I don't even know anything about Pokemon, and there is no reason I should have liked that story, but it made me laugh. Which is terrible, I realize. Very insensitive. Will work on developing a more appropriate sense of humor in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    There's perhaps a little bit here for everyone. A wide range of stories. Some I definitely didn't care for at all and some I liked quite a bit. Alice vs. Snow White was very clever. I should hate "Twilight of the Gods" but it was a somewhat amusing change on Twilight. Anne-droid of Green Gables was absolutely lovely. Little Women in Black made no sense to me, I saw no point and didn't see what the author was trying to do with it. Enjoyed Dickinson's relationship with Death, Frankenbilly was amus There's perhaps a little bit here for everyone. A wide range of stories. Some I definitely didn't care for at all and some I liked quite a bit. Alice vs. Snow White was very clever. I should hate "Twilight of the Gods" but it was a somewhat amusing change on Twilight. Anne-droid of Green Gables was absolutely lovely. Little Women in Black made no sense to me, I saw no point and didn't see what the author was trying to do with it. Enjoyed Dickinson's relationship with Death, Frankenbilly was amusing, Quoth the Rock Star was interesting. Happiest Hell on Earth and Dread Island were not my usual fare but I felt they were very well written stories and turned out to be rather interesting with the multiple references. Totally didn't understand Pokky Man and totally didn't like Vicious. From Hell's Heart was kinda neat.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bishop Harber

    I really set myself up for disappointment on this one. Or maybe I've just read too many really well-done books lately. But, honestly? Alice and Snow White mashed up with pathetic shades of Lovecraft? If it had any literary quality at all it might have stood a chance. As is, the story was ill-conceived and even executed with a style that approximated putting frogs into a blender and forgetting to put the lid on before turning it on. The rest of the the stories in this collection just get worse fr I really set myself up for disappointment on this one. Or maybe I've just read too many really well-done books lately. But, honestly? Alice and Snow White mashed up with pathetic shades of Lovecraft? If it had any literary quality at all it might have stood a chance. As is, the story was ill-conceived and even executed with a style that approximated putting frogs into a blender and forgetting to put the lid on before turning it on. The rest of the the stories in this collection just get worse from there. My recommendation? If you want to torture yourself with bad writing, go pick up anything by Emily Brönte in hardcover and just smash your face to a bloody pulp with it. It would be just as bad but at least you could say that you have engaged literature with gusto!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Preston Postle

    I always love the idea of this type of thing more than the execution. And, as with all short-story collections, the quality varies pretty widely. The concept here is that some famous literary character (or, in a couple cases, a famous pop icon or historical figure) is mashed up with a supernatural element, à la "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies" (which I hated -- even the stink of zombies can't mask the cloying perfume of Jane Austen for me). In some cases this seems perfectly natural: Jimi Hendrix I always love the idea of this type of thing more than the execution. And, as with all short-story collections, the quality varies pretty widely. The concept here is that some famous literary character (or, in a couple cases, a famous pop icon or historical figure) is mashed up with a supernatural element, à la "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies" (which I hated -- even the stink of zombies can't mask the cloying perfume of Jane Austen for me). In some cases this seems perfectly natural: Jimi Hendrix and Edgar Allan Poe? Niiiice! In others, it's just goofy (Loki in a "90210" send-up). But Joe Lansdale's take on Huck Finn and Jim vs. Cthulhu is worth the cover price all by itself. Sublime mayhem!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarai

    I really liked this collection, each short story is different and all are a good mix of a classic with some modern tale added in. Weather it's Alice stuck in the mirror in Snow White(somebody has to tell the Evil Queen she's beautiful) or Huck Fin and Jim finding an elder god on an island in the Mississippi, I found something to like about each tale. A few were a little odd, Jim Morison Vs Edgar Allan Poe and the Sid Vicious/Voodo Queen story were both quite different, but then again both those I really liked this collection, each short story is different and all are a good mix of a classic with some modern tale added in. Weather it's Alice stuck in the mirror in Snow White(somebody has to tell the Evil Queen she's beautiful) or Huck Fin and Jim finding an elder god on an island in the Mississippi, I found something to like about each tale. A few were a little odd, Jim Morison Vs Edgar Allan Poe and the Sid Vicious/Voodo Queen story were both quite different, but then again both those mens lives were "different" All told I like them and would recommend this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Hair

    Not every story kicked my butt, however a select few really blew me away. I'm a huge Jim Morrison fan and an even bigger Poe fan; seeing them battle it out was freakin' awesome. Similarly, I am helplessly in love with Emily Dickinson, so reading about her infatuation with another man (or in this case, another being) was tough for me but made for a great story. Obviously there are plenty of other excellent examples in this collection but those two were enough to give this collection a five for me Not every story kicked my butt, however a select few really blew me away. I'm a huge Jim Morrison fan and an even bigger Poe fan; seeing them battle it out was freakin' awesome. Similarly, I am helplessly in love with Emily Dickinson, so reading about her infatuation with another man (or in this case, another being) was tough for me but made for a great story. Obviously there are plenty of other excellent examples in this collection but those two were enough to give this collection a five for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Somer Canon

    I know this genre got kind of played out with all of the zombie stuff, but this book was actually delightful (if you're the type of person who finds horror and fantasy delightful...I absolutely am). The imagination used in some of these stories was actually 10 different kinds of great and I'm sure this is a book that I will read again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Inglee-Richards

    I wish I could use half stars. This book is 13 short stories of the fantasy mash up genre that is so popular right now. Some of the stories had a little to much in the way of mash up and came off as a bit cluttered. Some were really great though. A fun quick read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sean C

    Couldn't finish it. I gave it a try, but so few of the stories were decent. I expected to see enough of the original stories or characters in the updated versions, but I found them to be generally weak or uninteresting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Meh. This book has a few decent stories, but most of them seemed contrived, silly, and like they were trying too hard to make the "remix" trend work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jay D

    Some of the stories were captivating while others dragged on, but as a whole it was an amusing set of series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Anonymous

    Edar Allen Poe is a body-hopping undead ghost and other amazing tales. no words can allow me to portray the awesomeness in this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Henrik Rostoft

    Stories goes from good to really good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beverley

    Didn't get many of the references, but those that I did, I enjoyed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Jungers

    There's definitely something in here for almost any literary preference. I just happened to like all of them and really love a few of them. Definitely recommended.

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